Classic History Books


W.T. Massey - How Jerusalem Was Won. Allenby's Campaign in Palestine

the whole of the XXth Corps on these days was 12 officers killed, 35 wounded, and 137 other ranks
killed, 636 wounded and 7 missing - in all 47 officers and 780 other ranks. The prisoners taken from

November 28 to December 10 were: 76 officers, 1717 other ranks - total, 1793. On December 8 and 9, 68

officers and 918 other ranks - 986 in all - were captured. The booty included two 4-2 Krupp howitzers,

three 77-mm. field guns and carriages, nine heavy and three light machine guns, 137 boxes of small-arms

ammunition, and 103,000 loose rounds.

 

CHAPTER XV. GENERAL ALLENBY'S OFFICIAL ENTRY

Jerusalem became supremely happy.

It had passed through the trials, if not the perils, of war. It had been the headquarters and base of a
Turkish Army. Great bodies of troops were never quartered there, but staffs and depots were established

in the City, and being in complete control, the military paid little regard to the needs of the population.

Unfortunately a not inconsiderable section of Jerusalem's inhabitants is content to live, not by its own

handiwork, but on the gifts of charitable religious people of all creeds. When war virtually shut off

Jerusalem from the outer world the lot of the poor became precarious. The food of the country, just about

sufficient for self-support, was to a large extent commandeered for the troops, and while prices rose the

poor could not buy, and either their appeals did not reach the benevolent or funds were intercepted.

Deaths from starvation were numbered by the thousand, Jews, Christians, and Moslems alike suffering,

and there were few civilians in the Holy City who were not hungry for months at a time.

When I reached Jerusalem the people were at the height of their excitement over the coming of the
British and they put the best face on their condition, but the freely expressed feeling of relief that the

days of hunger torture were nearly past did not remove the signs of want and misery, of infinite suffering

by father, mother, and child, brought about by a long period of starvation. That a people, pale, thin, bent,

whose movements had become listless under the lash of hunger, could have been stirred into enthusiasm

by the appearance of a khaki coat, that they could throw off the lethargy which comes of acute want, was

only to be accounted for by the existence of a profound belief that we had been sent to deliver them.

Some hours before the Official Entry I was walking in David Street when a Jewish woman, seeing that I

was English, stopped me and said: 'We have prayed for this day. To-day I shall sing "God Save our

Gracious King, Long Live our Noble King." We have been starving, but what does that matter? Now we

are liberated and free.' She clasped her hands across her breasts and exclaimed several times, 'Oh how

thankful we are.' An elderly man in a black robe, whose pinched pale face told of a long period of want,

caught me by the hand and said: 'God has delivered us. Oh how happy we are.' An American worker in a

Red Crescent hospital, who had lived in Jerusalem for upwards of ten years and knew the people well,

assured me there was not one person in the Holy City who in his heart was not devoutly thankful for our

victory. He told me that on the day we captured Nebi Samwil three wounded Arab officers were brought

to the hospital. One of them spoke English - it was astonishing how many people could speak our mother

tongue - and while he was having his wounds dressed he exclaimed: 'I can shout Hip-hip-hurrah for

England now.' The officer was advised to be careful, as there were many Turkish wounded in the

hospital, but he replied he did not care, and in unrestrained joy cried out, 'Hurrah for England.'

The deplorable lot of the people had been made harder by profiteering officers. Those who had money
had to part with it for Turkish paper. The Turkish note was depreciated to about one-fifth of its face

value. German officers traded in the notes for gold, sent the notes to Germany where, by a financial

arrangement concluded between Constantinople and Berlin, they were accepted at face value. The

German officer and soldier got richer the more they forced Turkish paper down. Turkish officers bought

 

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